BUT WHY NOT THE OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE FORGERY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 18, 2017) — On Wednesday, Buzzfeed News produced a lengthy exposé of a scenario stretching from the U.S. to Israel to Italy, Russia and beyond involving fraudulent documents purported to have contained evidence of a questionable transaction carried out by Exxon-Mobil, where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Chairman before becoming part of the Trump administration.
The article contrasted sharply with one the outlet published on January 10 with admittedly unverified documents alleging that “Trump Has Deep Ties to Russia,” a theme which persists to the present day but which remains unsubstantiated.
Although Buzzfeed’s report was quickly discredited and condemned as having been published for a “ridiculous” reason by The Washington Post, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith justified its publication with “You trust us to give you the full story; we trust you to reckon with a messy, sometimes uncertain reality.”
Other left-leaning media questioned the story’s “journalistic fairness” and ethics. Without publishing the documents, CNN wrote on January 12, “Sources tell CNN that these same allegations about communications between the Trump campaign and the Russians, mentioned in classified briefings for congressional leaders last year, prompted then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to send a letter to FBI Director Comey in October, in which he wrote, ‘It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States.'”
Last month, CNN continued the story by reporting, “For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump’s inauguration.”
The media has maintained the story line, with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees reportedly investigating any connections Trump or his associates may have had to the Russian government. And NBC News report dated March 16, 2017 stated that, “Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and called Donald Trump a dupe of Russia, cast doubt Wednesday night on allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”
The article continued:
Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
One of the bylines in Buzzfeed’s Russia story, Ken Bensinger, also appears in Wednesday’s article. Both columns bear three co-authors.
Wednesday’s article is replete with photographs, images of the documents reported to have been found fraudulent, captions, and documented attempts to reach various players and potential players in the saga. The article concludes with an admission by the principal of the story that despite all of his efforts, he ultimately could not validate the documents he had paid $9,000 plus expenses to obtain.
On Thursday, The Daily Caller published its own article on the subject, referring to Buzzfeed’s extensive piece and Ben Smith’s column published the same day warning that “The strange tale published today by BuzzFeed News of anti-Trump activists duped by a dramatic forgery is the latest sign that the Russia story is veering out of control.”
The article detailing the Israeli man’s quest for what he was led to believe was a “smoking gun” showing a bribe of sorts on the part of Exxon-Mobil made to effect the nomination of Tillerson as Secretary of State contains a warning of sorts:
Such forgeries escalate the phenomenon of “fake news,” the Facebook- and Twitter-friendly lies that tell readers what they want to believe and that are packaged to look like authentic journalism. In this case, evidence was deliberately fabricated that could make fictional allegations seem authentic. Such forged documents also feed the hunger of a growing audience on the left that seems willing to believe virtually any claim about Trump’s supposed bad deeds.
Forgeries that have duped the public and influenced American politics aren’t new, of course. Fake documents (also with roots in Italy) led the George W. Bush administration to suggest that Iraq had tried to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger, for example, and questionable records of Bush’s National Guard service ended Dan Rather’s career at CBS News.
While going to great lengths to document the story and analyze the documents generated by the massive scam, Buzzfeed has not acknowledged that the image posted by the White House on April 27, 2011 purported to be a scan of a certified copy of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate was determined by two sets of analysts contributing to a criminal investigation to be a “computer-generated forgery.”
Rather than disclosing that conclusion, on Tucker Carlson’s January 25 show, Smith invoked the Obama “birth certificate” issue (beginning at 4:05) as an example of “nonsense” as it related to Trump’s public questioning of Obama’s eligibility and pressing for the release of his “long-form” birth certificate.
Following more than five years of work and three press conferences, there is little doubt that mainstream and secondary media outlets are aware that investigators commissioned by then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio not only found probable cause as to the forgery of Obama’s birth certificate image early on, but also were later supported in their conclusions by subject-matter experts.
However, a dearth of reporting by the mainstream media shows their aversion to the findings. In its efforts to quell the dissemination of the results of the investigation and their significance, the mainstream media has often provided its own story line.
At the third and final press conference on December 15, 2016, investigator Mike Zullo reported that Italy-based Forlab and Hawaii-based Reed Hayes, both forensic document analysts but from different disciplines, agreed that the image posted at whitehouse.gov cannot possibly be authentic based on nine identified points of forgery taken from a document bearing someone else’s name.
On January 2, Bret Baier of Fox News’s “Special Report” obliquely mentioned the birth certificate investigation while at the same time erroneously reporting that Arpaio had served as “Metro Phoenix sheriff” rather than Maricopa County sheriff.
The city of Phoenix has its own police department, and Maricopa County is the “third largest sheriff’s office in the country.”
In his report, Baier focused on the criminal contempt charge Arpaio faced from the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from a racial-profiling civil suit brought by the ACLU in 2007. He acknowledged the findings of Arpaio’s investigative team in regard to the birth certificate image and reported that after seeking comment from the White House, an unidentified spokesman had called the forgery conclusion “ridiculous.”
That claim had not been made before. Rather, the Obama White House had been silent on investigators’ findings until days before Obama left office, when Press Secretary Josh Earnest unexpectedly told reporters during the daily briefing, “that the charges against the president — that were lobbed against the president — were false.”
Baier did not specifically refer to the December 15 presser in which Zullo first made public the involvement of the two forensic analysts and their conclusions, although a Phoenix Fox affiliate said that the Fox News Channel monitored the event.
The day after Smith’s interview with Carlson, Zullo told The Post & Email:
Strikingly, in every news report, they do not address the newly-released findings verified by two forensic disciplines. In doing so, they avoid bringing attention and credibility to the issue. They can’t refute the findings, but they still want to put the propaganda out there as if it were some kind of conspiracy theory. But the press conferences have not been debunked.
Even in a manufactured crisis such as what they did with the release of the Russian “dossier,” they are still spewing propaganda to put in the public’s mind that there’s no merit to the birth certificate claim. They’re using that as a vehicle again to place in your mind that it’s a crazy idea. They’re using this crisis to further another cause. They are pronouncing that birth certificate good without doing any research.